A very common organizing challenge for many of my clients is laundry. We all have clothes for different roles and the number of roles we have is different for everyone. More roles could mean different wardrobes for each of those roles. There could be school clothes, work clothes, play clothes, etc. Not only does your family generate dirty clothes, but there will be towels and bed linens as well. This means that you could have an overwhelming amount of laundry on a regular basis, that at some point, you will have to clean.
Having a lot of clothes, and the need to clean them on a regular basis requires a system that works for you and your family. Creating a simple, doable system can save time and money. It has to be a system that includes everyone and everyone needs to understand their role. You need to work together as a team for the system to be successful.
The guide below will provide ideas for you to create an organized laundry system. Tailor it to your situation and tweak it as you go along to ensure your success!
An effective organized system begins where you change your clothes. Each person needs to have a place to put their dirty clothes. Laundry hampers or a basket in every bedroom, bedroom closet, or bathroom works nicely for that. If you are short on space, a hook on the back of a door to hang a cloth drawstring bag also works well, just make sure the hook will hold the weight. Towels and bed linens can also go in hampers. However, you may want a separate hamper for them.
Designate a day or two or three, every week to wash clothes. The frequency will depend on how much you have. Make your schedule flexible for those unexpected things that demand your attention. And keep in mind that if you can’t get to it on a designated day, you will have more on the next designated day which will take more time. On the designated day, collect the laundry from the hampers around the house, or have each family member bring their clothes to your laundry room.
Your laundry room needs to go with the flow of incoming and outgoing items. Most laundry rooms or areas, don’t have a lot of room so you need to use the space to optimize efficiency. A shelf above the washer and dryer can be used for supplies. A 3 section sorter can be used to separate the darks from the lights, etc. If you have the room, a different colored basket for each family member can be used for them to put their dirty clothes to be washed. Then as they are folded out of the dryer, they go into their respective basket to go to their room. You will also need a trash can for the lint on the dryer screen that needs to be cleaned every time you use the dryer to prevent fires.
• Multiple washers & dryers – Depending on your available space and the amount of laundry your family accumulates, you may want to install another washer and dryer. This could save a lot of time in your schedule.
• Laundry services – If you have a backlog to do, or don’t have the time to do it on a regular basis, here are a couple of options. 1.You could take it to a laundromat and get it all done at once using multiple washers and dryers. 2. Another option is to hire a service. Many of them offer pickup and drop off service.
• Family members – Teach all family members how to do the laundry and post a schedule to get them in the routine of doing laundry on their assigned day. It could just be their own laundry, or everyone’s laundry.